Local Military Bases
Niceville is proud to be the bedroom community of Eglin Air Force Base, and we are proud of the many heroes living among us. Niceville gives its best to active duty members of the military and their families, and we are eager to welcome retired veterans to their new hometown. Niceville salutes you!
Eglin Air Force Base
Eglin Air Force Base is the home of the Air Armament Center (AAC) and is one of four product centers in the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC). Eglin has been the area’s major employer since 1935.
Serving as the focal point for all Air Force armaments, the AAC is the center responsible for the development, acquisition, testing, deployment and sustainment of all air-delivered weapons. The host wing at Eglin is the 96th Air Base Wing (96 ABW) whose mission consists of supporting the Air Armament Center and the several tenant commands and associate units with traditional military services as well as all the services of a small city, to include civil engineering, personnel, logistics, communications, computer, medical, security, and all other host services. Critical to the success of Eglin’s mission, the 96th Air Base Wing provides a large number of base operating support functions.
The Eglin range, managed by the 46th Test Wing, is the largest Air Force base in the free world. Its 724 square miles of land range occupies much of the Northwest Florida panhandle. Its 101,000 square miles of air space extends over the eastern third of the Gulf of Mexico, an area extending from the panhandle to the Florida Keys.
Other major units based at Eglin include the 33rd Fighter Wing (home of the Department of defense F-35 integration and training effort), 53rd Wing, Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Navy Joint Explosive Ordnance Disposal School, 6th Ranger Training Battalion and the 20th Space Control Squadron.
There are currently 9470 Active Duty Military, 4038 Civilian Employees, 575 NAF and 2957 Contractors at Eglin AFB.
Eglin Air Force Base (East Gate) is located about 3 miles from the heart of Niceville.
Home o f the 919th Special Operations Wing.
The 919th Special Operations Wing, located at Eglin Air Force Base Field 3 (Duke Field), Fla., is the only special operations wing in the Air Force Reserve. The 919th SOW is a subordinate unit of 10th Air Force headquartered at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, and the Air Force Reserve Command, with headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. In wartime or a contingency, the wing reports to Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla., its gaining major command.
The 919th SOW, in a classic association with the Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center, provides operations and maintenance personnel to support the aviation foreign internal defense and combat aviation advisor programs for the Air Force Special Operations Command through the use of the C-145A aircraft. The wing conducts U-28 and C-145A formal training unit flight instruction through a classic association with the AFSOAWC. It also employs the MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial system in a geographically separated classic association with the 27th Special Operations Wing, Cannon AFB, N.M. The wing provides personnel to support AFSOC taskings and AFRC Air Expeditionary Force taskings relating to security forces, civil engineering, communications, logistics, supply, transportation, services and personnel functions.
Duke Field is located about 12 miles from the heart of Niceville.
Home of the Air Commandos since 1961, Hurlburt Field today accommodates the 1st Special Operations Wing (1 SOW), Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), an Air Force major command, and a number of associate units. Officially designated Eglin Auxiliary Field No. 9, it served as one of the small training fields built on the sprawling Eglin Air Force Range in the 1940s. General Grandison Gardiner, Eglin commander, named it for First Lieutenant Donald Wilson Hurlburt who was killed in an aircraft crash at Eglin Auxiliary Field #9 in 1943. The Eglin Military Reservation, to include the surrounding auxiliary fields, played key roles in the training of special operations rescue forces for operations such as the 1970 Son Tay Raid in Vietnam. When the 1 SOW was renamed the 16 SOW on October 1, 1993, it retained the heritage and honors of the 1 SOW, its predecessor designations, and the 16th Pursuit and Fighter groups. When the 16 SOW was redesignated the 1 SOW on November 16, 2006, it retained all the honors garnered by the 16 SOW.
Hurlburt Field is located about 15 miles from the heart of Niceville.